LONDON – Wednesday was crazy. It started off that way.
By not adjusting the time change, I stayed up until 4:30 a.m. London time. For the folks, who don’t know, London is five hours ahead of the time in Philly. For some strange reason, I still expected to get up at 7:30 a.m. to work out in the hotel’s weight room.
However, after hitting the snooze button, I slept for another hour. The problem was I had planned to be out of hotel no later than 9:30 a.m. My goal was to take a taxi to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. So that wiped out of the gym session.
In hindsight, I would have been better off skipping going to Greenwich.
One had to know things were about to go wrong as I approached the taxi driver stationed outside of my hotel.
The driver didn’t initially notice me as he was reading a book. After getting his attention, I asked how long would it take to get to Greenwich. At first he said an hour, then 45 minutes.
Well, let’s just say it took longer than that.
London is known for having one of the world’s most knowledgeable cab drivers. They are like walking GPS machines.
No, not this guy. Nor was he as personable as the other cab drivers I have encountered here.
At one point, I actually believed he was reading his book while driving. After getting a closer look, it was obvious that he was actually looking at some type of GPS on his phone. That’s why he was short on conversation.
Unfortunately for us, his GSP stopped working properly after losing wireless internet on his phone. That’s when I found out we were lost. Yep, lost, like he didn’t have a clue as where to turn — left or right.
He cursed and even pulled to the side of the road to inform me of the news. He even asked to use my phone to get us Greenwich. As a result, my Waze directed us until we were able pick up the internet signal again.
So what was supposed to be a 45-minute to an hour ride actually turned out to be 80 minutes.
The funny thing is that he kept apologizing after we arrived at the observatory. The older gentleman admitted this was first time taking someone there during his 50 years of driving a cab.
We shared a hearty laugh before I went into the observatory. Let’s just say, Greenwich didn’t come close to duplicating the fun I had the day before at the Tower of London. Hey, it was something else to cross off my list of things to do before Wednesday’s media availability for the 76ers and Boston Celtics. Now, the focus is squarely on Thursday’s NBA game in London between those two squads.
I just hope my cab driver knows the way to The 02 Arena.